The Non-Governmental Organisation Regulatory Commission Bill also known as NGO Bill has suffered a major setback.
On Wednesday at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives, participants rejected the bill and its ideas.
The civil society organisations (CSOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at the hearing all spoke against it.
The hearing was organised by the house committee on civil society organisations and development partners.
The controversial bill seeks the establishment of the Non-governmental Organisation regulatory commission to regulate NGOs and CSOs. The bill, sponsored by a lawmaker, has been criticised by many activists and NGOs as government’s way of clamping down on civic groups.
Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto, Mathew Kukah, in his submission said he stands with civil societies very firmly.
“I think we should divert our energies to other things”, he said. “The greatest benefit for us in a democracy is freedom.”
Hundreds of protesters, led by renowned human rights activist, Chidi Odinkalu, also besieged the National Assembly asking that the bill be discarded.
The bill recently passed second reading at the House of Representatives and subsequently referred to the committee on civil society organisations and development partners.
In his submission after the public hearing, the chairman of the committee, Peter Akpatason, assured that he will present the recommendations of the committee to the House without bias.